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7200 Hereford and Gloucestershire Premises to Get Fibre Broadband UPDATE

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 (5:38 pm) - Score 1,815

Openreach today confirmed they will deploy their “superfast fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to cover a further 7,200 homes and businesses in the UK counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (completion by the end of 2019), which comes after BT signed a new £5.1m contract under the Fastershire project.

The Herefordshire County Council has already signed one Phase 2 roll-out deal with Gigaclear, which will deploy Gigabit capable FTTP to an additional 8,000 premises in the region by 2020 (here). Today’s announcement reflects a second Phase 2 signing, albeit with BT.

Phase 1 of the original project enabled 83% of premises (35,000) in Herefordshire, and 82% in Gloucestershire, to gain access to speeds of 30Mbps+. By comparison the Phase 2 project is expected to increase coverage in Herefordshire to 95% (97% in Gloucestershire) through various contracts with both Gigaclear and BT.

Apparently the Herefordshire side of this deal will extend to a further 2,200 premises, while the rest will go to Gloucestershire.

Councillor David Harlow, Herefordshire Cabinet Member for Economy, said:

“We are striving to enable as many properties in Herefordshire to access faster broadband. By working with BT in Hereford, Fastershire will ensure that more homes and businesses will be able to benefit from superfast speeds.”

Steve Haines, Openreach’s MD of NGA, said:

“This major expansion of the Fastershire programme means more great news for people living and working in Hereford and we’re delighted to be playing such a key role.

Just two years ago, Britons used less than half the data they do now on their home broadband and this pace shows no signs of slowing. Consumers are doing more and more online and at the same time, from streaming high definition movies and TV, gaming, online shopping to using mobile devises over wireless broadband.

Every day the number of services delivered to us online, whether designed to entertain, educate or meet our daily needs, is growing. Content and applications will only get more sophisticated making high speed broadband vital for doing all your essential tasks online, so I hope that communities take full advantage of the technology as it arrives.”

We should point out that the funding split for the new contract is a little confusing. The council says the “£5.1 million deal” includes around £908,000 from Gloucestershire County Council, Herefordshire Council and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, plus just over £5 million from BT (we may make that nearly £6m *shrug*).

We do at least know for sure that the Herefordshire side of this is funded by £218,000 from the council and £668,000 from BT, although it would be nice if such projects could publish figures that actually made sense.

Between both counties the Fastershire programme has so far reached an additional 96,516 premises, including upgrades at 99 exchanges, 702Kms of new fibre optic cable and the installation of 407 new street cabinets. The project claims that it will help to boost the local economy by £420m over the next ten years.

UPDATE 16th Feb 2018 @ 2:53pm

Updated the article to include Gloucestershire’s side of the contract.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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9 Responses
  1. Avatar occasionally factual

    Good value for money at £403 per premises. And BT supplying 75.4% of that capital too.

  2. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove

    Does anyone know precisely where these premises are, please?

  3. Avatar NGA for all

    That is quite a change for Fastershire and BT. Good to see. Is this a few more cabinets or are Openreach planning to FTTP to deliver superfast?

    • They don’t say but generally Openreach tend to shout it from the rooftops when there’s more FTTP than FTTC involved but this time they didn’t, which means it’s probably more FTTC orientated.

    • Avatar CarlT

      At £403 per premises there’s not going to be an abundance of FTTP. That is a reasonable price tag for urban areas that are dense and already ducted but not so much the areas this will probably cover.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      If the £403 includes 10 years of operational costs, then this is some FTTC in-fill for urban area with the begging bowl out for a £99 a premise. That would be desperate stuff for an BT MD to be putting his name too.
      If it is BT stepping forward with FTTP, it would show some intent by independent Openreach to change its stripes.

  4. Avatar AnotherTim

    The new item on the Fastershire website says it is a £5.1 million deal to cover 7200 properties – so that’s £708 per property. It also states the properties are in Herefeord, Gloucester, and Cheltenham, so presumably all FTTC (no rural properties). Presumably the £887K deal mentioned above is just the Hereford part?

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